Ducks need more outside room generally than chickens, so we set about building a large run for our new flock. We planned on about five square feet of outside space per duck, which meant we needed a run that was twenty square feet total. Since we are renting this year, nothing can be permanent about the duck house and run.
The chickens and ducks each have their own pecking order for their individual flocks. They will also need to sort out which birds are at the top as a combined flock. To lessen the pain of that transition, we constructed a large run that lets the flocks see each other without having access to each other just yet.
We built the large duck run around the enclosed chicken run. As they get used to each other, we have the option to open the chicken run and give everyone a chance to share the large run. In addition, we fenced off the raised beds which makes it easier to let everyone free-range in the backyard without destroying our crops.
We used 4′ rebar every five feet, hammered down about one foot into the ground. Our local recycling store had cheap PVC pipes, which we put over the rebar like fence posts. We bought 5′ metal fencing that we then wrapped around the poles and secured with zipties. We used poultry staples to hammer the ends into our duck house and chicken coop.
When we move eventually, the poles can be pulled out, the fencing wrapped up and the coops carried into the moving truck. One major drawback is that a determined predator could probably dig under the large run. We haven’t seen signs of raccoons in our neighborhood and are hoping that doesn’t become an issue.
This has turned out to be a really nice solution to constructing a large, but portable, housing setup for ducks. The flocks seem to be curious about each other and everyone is playing nice so far. We moved in a kiddie pool for the ducks recently and they seem to have plenty of room to play.